Encounter

A greasy-spoon cafe on a Camden-grey day.

I was tired, hung-over yet, strangely, quite hungry.

You stood at the counter and ordered a coffee.

Black, no sugar. You sat in the corner. Away.

Your face held a history that I wasn’t part of.

The sadness I felt didn’t make any sense.

Fried egg and bacon, half-eaten, redundant,

lay dead on my plate. I sipped tea in defence

as you noticed me looking. Eyes quickly averted,

too late, I was filigree falling apart.

You headed toward me in monochrome motion,

your flickering smile an abuse of the heart.

Hello’.

Do I walk or respond? Hell, you’re scrap from the past’.

‘Good to see you’.

Stay calm now. Pretend.

‘You, too. How you doing?’

You have all the power. Don’t hurt me.

It’s started, but how will it end?

You smelled so familiar, of teen-aged nostalgia.

Oppressive and sexy. A déjà vu crime.

Your hair, slightly longer, a riot of Ravens,

sat lazy on shoulders I’d thought of as mine.

My mind battled logic with wild insanity,

Run. Don’t look back.

I was mush.

Can you tell?

Do you know? Can you see in my eyes

that I’m gasping and choking still under you spell?

‘It’s been a long time’. Your voice was the same.

And the lips. Oh, the lips and the kisses I knew.

Damn you.

Lips that could lie like a lake in the dessert.

Same lips saying now, with a smile, ‘Missed you’.

‘Yeah?’, I replied, in a desperate bid to stay light.

Indifference is hard when your head’s on the wall.

‘You look good’, you persisted. I held my composure

(I think) though I shrunk to the size of a ball.

‘Thanks’, I shot back with a shrug. Such a diva.

Why now? I was healing and reeling in frogs.

Your face, animated, spoke under my psyche

in faraway words of a vague monologue.

The images sparked, neon dark, unrelenting.

The battered Toyota, head-rushed to the coast.

Writhing fire-naked nights, waking tight

to the memories still fresh in our sweat.

‘How’s your wife?’, and it wasn’t a question

so much as a canvas to paint with your mouth.

‘What choice did I have. She was having a kid’.

You seemed suddenly weak. Were you clawing me in?

‘He got sick last September. Didn’t make it.’

Oh, God! What a slap.

Did I want to know more?

‘I’m sorry’, I said. Well, what else could I say?

Was I sorry? Of course. Very sorry. Who for?

And then shame, in its rectitude, held up a sign.

My pain was pernicious. Your hurting was more.

Do I reach for that tear dripping soft on your cheek?

Do I wipe it or let it go wet to the floor?

A greasy- spoon cafe on a Camden-grey day.

The past is a murderer needing a rope.

A battered Toyota parked minutes away.

The future, a glorious, hazardous hope.

Posted in Life & Emotion, Love & Romance, Poems In Text | 26 Comments

When I Die

When I die, I shall not die.

My body, frail and failing, yes,

surrendering to time’s request,

will leave. And yet the ‘I’ I am

will blossom forth, continuing

with love. The love that never leaves,

the love we know in thoughts of us,

the love in every moment shared,

the love that waits for timeless bliss

eternally in heaven’s kiss.

When I die, I shall not die.

Posted in Life & Emotion, Poems In Text, Spiritual | Leave a comment

I Am

I am the face you see so clear
The voice that whispers in your ear
The cheeky smile you know so well
The moods that only you can tell.
I am the candle’s flickering light
The Robin hopping into sight
The butterfly that flutters free
The feather dancing in the breeze
The sunbeam through a cloudy sky
The shadow passing gently by

I am the love that never dies

By Shirley A Bunyan

Posted in Life & Emotion, Life & Emotion, Poems In Text, Spiritual | Leave a comment

Damn Damage

Posted for dVerse Poets Pub – Trimeric form which was invented by Dr. Charles Stone.   

This is such a troublesome affair.
I’ll ask you once again to tell the truth.
The damage done is more than I can bear.
You’ve always been ungracious. Quite uncouth.

I’ll ask you once again to tell the truth.
It’s no good clamming up and looking glum.
You did it. That’s for sure. I have the proof.

The damage done is more than I can bear.
You need a punishment to suit the crime.
Your disregard is way beyond compare.

You’ve always been ungracious. Quite uncouth.
This time you’ve over-stepped the mark, and so
there’ll be no walks today, you naughty pooch!

Posted in Comedy, d'verse Prompts, Formal Structure, Poems In Text, Trimeric | Leave a comment

Kissing Out Scrumping

squabs squatting on treetops
stuck between bide and fly

how do you know if wings work?

the youth club was a place for the bigguns
littluns allowed
thursdays
six thirty ’till eight

we strode along the spinney path
you in your tan suede jacket
voice on the croaky cusp of change

I can’t remember what I wore
it would have been tom-boy

an old lady stopped to chat
we wondered why she was so proud to be eighty three
to us it was a tragedy

our sixpence subs sat in our pockets
subs was a bigguns word
got your subs?
yeah, got mine
got your subs?

we paid our subs and looked around
not moving our heads

to one end
the four-legged green king held court
humouring two or three littluns
wielding over-sized cues


to the other
a hatch with snacks

Norwegian Wood whined from a record player in the corner
a biggun and his bird smooched by
his hand fluttering
on and off her bum


you turned your rosacea away

wanna play on the football table?

later we bought potato puffs and vimto
ergo
trying to look casual

at eight we decided to go

on the walk home you asked if we should try a snog

we’d ridden bikes
scrumped apples
hoola-hooped and knocked up ginger through every season

I shrugged
ok

we lay down in a snapped twig of the spinney
like a dry
unwrapped sandwich
acting out curiosity

your jacket zip
dug into my chin
the kiss was wet and alien

it was a kiss

after it we stood up
as if we’d just arm-wrestled

the squab floundered frantically
on the harsh grey of the path
you scooped it up

cupping it

pushing it slowly

through a hole in the hedge

we clopped down the spinney steps
in thought

what was so great about being a biggun?
do wings work?


at the bottom we said bye
flapping our separate ways
knowing life had changed

Posted in Life & Emotion, Poems In Text | Leave a comment

The Circle Turns

Don’t whisper under ancient limbs of yew
where cherished breath of past must surely go,
or bid the daffodil to dip and bow
to spirits bound in sanctuary below

There is no death within these marbled tombs;
no melancholy legacies to own.
Rejoice! It is but night that casts the gloom,
for souls that brushed this earth are long since flown.

The Mourning Dove expels a sad lament
to you and I, where roses lie on stone,
indifferent to the drift of time’s intent.
The circle turns, forever going home.

Posted in Life & Emotion, Poems In Text, Spiritual | Leave a comment

She Picked The Shoes

She picked the shoes in pink with winding straps,
of wuthering height, impressive, so divine.
A sizzling date the reason why, perhaps

she picked the shoes.

Her expertise with heels was borderline.
Doc Martens were the norm, with tightened flaps.
She tottered upright, poise and balance fine

until the stroke of midnight brought collapse.
She blamed it on the Pinot Grigio wine.
‘Why me?’ she cries – two months in plaster wraps.

She picked the shoes.

Posted in Comedy, Poems In Text | 1 Comment

She Lays Flowers

She lays flowers by a green painted fence.
Others lay them too, but not so often now.
Some tell her, stop, but she knows he can sense
she lays flowers.

Today she leaves tulips and a quiet vow;
she’ll keep him close. A meagre recompense –
that will not pacify the heads that know.

Done deeds stay spent; encased in lost laments.
No second chance; no turnaround allowed.
The green stays green. The fence remains a fence
where she lays flowers.

Posted in Life & Emotion, Poems In Text, Spiritual | Leave a comment

The Gatekeeper

Father said that compliance was the gatekeeper of life.
A concept not easily embraced by the mind of a boy.
Obedience from wife and child
was a man’s entitlement.
Mouth shut.
Ears open.
Obey, respect, praise, pray.
When Mother was raped,
I was mute.
When her wounds wept,
I shivered frozen rage.
Belittled, afraid, angry, ashamed.
Locked in compliance.
Silenced.


In my head they would come,
the heros and giants.
She died.
I was ten.
She was blue.
A crumpled rag doll despatched to a hole
in the yard.
He cursed into glasses of malt and I cried,
but not loud.
Months became years, slowly turning
the fears to new stirrings. A giant emerging,
heroic, maybe.
And I grew and he shrank as he drank as I grew
and I knew, in my heart, the Gatekeeper was lost.
He lay in his bed, still ranting
and spewing out desperate prayers
that sank in the void of his desolate stare.


I took Mother’s hand
and I never let go.
The pillow felt soft as we walked up the stairs.

Posted in Life & Emotion, Poems In Text | Leave a comment

The Joy of Christmas

‘Somehow, somewhere she’ll find a place
where crops grow strong with gentle rain
And children wander, whole again’

Posted in Environmental, Life & Emotion, My Video Poems | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment